How To Take First Steps in Beacon Driven Retail Offers

POS proximity sensors are adding a new and useful component to POS displays and fixtures. A key advantage, technology such as this offers, is the ability to directly communicate information in real time that is ‘personalised’ to the customer. This allows you to, not only get a customer’s attention, but to help them to move closer to a purchase decision. The sharing of relevant information, at the point of purchase, allows the chance to reinforce a message or to educate the consumer which can be an important part of the sales process.

However, like all new technologies, it can be difficult to find how to best use this new marketing tool. POS proximity sensor technology is only limited by our imagination and can help us to interact in new and exciting ways. To best use proximity sensors, to drive sales, it’s important to understand what to do and what to avoid.

What Not To Do

The temptation of the ‘wow factor’ is often too great. If you’re going to do it, why not do it big, right? The problem with a focus on what is possible with the technology is that its core purpose is often forgotten. That core purpose is to sell your product or to build your brand.

To avoid this, make sure that you start with the end in mind.

  • Don’t Overextend: when presented with an exciting new product, technology, or approach it’s tempting to overdo it. An overly complex implementation of POS proximity sensors will just confuse customers and what you’re trying to communicate will be lost in the noise. Think about the single key action you want them to take (upgrade to the next size up, switch to your own brand product or buy more) and focus the message and the interactions around this.
  • Don’t Be Too Flashy: when confronted by a piece of marketing, that has visual and sensory elements, it’s very easy to get distracted. A key point to remember is that too much movement, speed or activity can be confusing to customers and your core message will be lost in the entertainment that the customer experiences.

A Proper Approach

No matter how you’re implementing the technology (in-store ads or messages sent to smartphones via Bluetooth) what is important is the information itself.

  • Keep To Key Facts: when shopping, customers need facts (whether that be an offer or simply an alternative product) to make their minds up. They may walk into store knowing that they want a product in the broad sense and may have even chosen a brand or a specific product but many are still able to be influenced. Use your proximity sensors to communicate relevant information right at the point of purchase – that’s when you have one of the biggest chances to move the sale in your favour.
  • Focus On The Customer: as with any marketing technique, focus on the customer. They’re making a purchasing decision and you are providing the information they need to make that choice. Therefore your implementation of POS proximity sensors can be something very simple. For example, a beacon detects a customer picking up a product and, in response, the screen shows useful information for that product, a demonstration video, customers’ reviews or information about a promotion. This is valuable as it informs the customer and helps to drive a sale.

Perfecting Your Proximity Sensors

Finally, get the data to support your use of this technology and then use a ‘test, measure, test’ approach to refine the messages and the techniques used.

Proximity sensors are still a marketing component and like more traditional methods they can fail to engage with your customer base by not effectively communicating your message. Data should be collected before and after the project to assure it has a measurable goal and a focused methodology.  Keep your data simple (i.e. track sales or dwell time) and be prepared to change your approach based on customer reactions. Above all, be open to new ideas and experiment until you understand what works for you and your customers.

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How to take the first steps into a new retail world of beacon-driven offers